Love maintains the church

Christ Jesus said his church would be built on the Rock—the Christ, Truth, that he taught and practiced. See Matt. 16:13–18 . Jesus' very teaching and practice show us that the church he envisioned is built with the substance of spiritual, brotherly love. Because Christ's church is constructed with love, the human institution can be restored with love, when restoration seems needed.

Jesus often spoke of his ideal church in beautiful imagery. His followers are his flock; his church is their fold; and Christ, Truth, is their eternal Shepherd (see John 10:1–18). Doesn't God's word, spoken through Ezekiel, prophesy the shepherding ministry of the Messiah? "Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. ... I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick." Ezek. 34:11,16.

Jesus gathered his flock in just these ways. He rescued sinners, restored outcasts, comforted the brokenhearted, and healed the sick. These are the ways that the eternal Christ, Truth, still enfolds, increases, and shepherds his flock.

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October 24, 1983

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